Little Accomplishments

My current WIP (work in progress) that I’ve been working on (well on and off for the last 2 years) has just hit a milestone, or at least what I consider a milestone.  I just recently past 50,000 words and 200 pages!  I have always wanted to write a book, but was never sure if I actually could so this is a big deal for me.  I wanted it documented to remind myself that I CAN do it as long as I stick with it and keep writing.  So YAY! And yes, I did a little happy dance when I hit this milestone.  Yes, I still have a ways to go and yes, it’s only a rough draft, BUT people that’s 50k words and 200 pages that has never existed and I CREATED it and I’m EXCITED!

So CHEERS! Here’s to the next 50,000 words (or however many it takes me to finish) because I WILL finish this book.

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Out with the old…

You know how the old addage goes: “Out with the old, in with the new”.  Bye Bye 2010 and Hello 2011!   I am READY for something NEW.

Don’t get me wrong there were good parts for sure: Living in TN and experiencing life there with my little family, traveling across the country (with moving truck and 10mo old) coming “home” so our daughter could get to know her extended family, and living at a lake for the entire summer.  Also during this year, my daughter had her 1st B-day, crawled, swam, walked, talked (a LOT), started music class (she loves to sing and dance), and fell in love with the Sesame Street gang (Abby, Elmo, and Cookie to name a few).  It is my joy and honor to watch her learn and grow and develop who she is.  On another front, I started my 2nd novel and wrote approx 60,000 words (which isn’t too terribly bad considering I moved 3 times and have been chasing a toddler around).  Unfortunately, I have yet to complete my 1st novel but am looking forward to it this next year (more on that later).

So as you can see, some great things happened this year and a lot of FIRSTS experienced with my little girl.  Those things I will cherish! There were also things that I am looking forward to moving passed and leaving behind.  Now I know that the struggles and dark times in our lives help shape and form who we are based on our responses and choices, but does that mean that I want to go through them? HELL NO!  No more on that.  It’s time to look forward.  It’s time to evaluate what I want to accomplish and believe for in this new year.  Yes, it’s just another day in the timeline of our lives and is merely psychological, but it’s a milestone marker.  I believe we need these markers to help guide our way and see where we’ve been and to take stock of our lives and evaluate the type of people we have become.  Do we continue in the direction we have been going perhaps making minor adjustments or is it time to correct and change paths?

2011…

First off, I am inspired by Ali Edwards “One Little Word”.  I started this last year and was inspired to do pick a word for this year.  I think I might even take her OLW class.  After much thought and meditation, my word for this year is BECOME.

ME: These are goals for me. Now that might sound selfish, but I believe I am only able to give as much as I have or am and if I’m not taken care of, then I am not able to fully give to my hubby, to my daughter, to others, and to my craft.

  • become more fully the me I am to be. Become and grow myself into ME as an individual, as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother.
  • feel good about myself: eat better, exercise regularly, get “me” time.
  • become DISCIPLINED and consistent with my creativity: writing, journaling, scrapping, etc.

FAMILY: Loving my family more and more in the ways that they need to be loved, not necessarily in the way I think they should.  Spending more time nurturing, cultivating, playing, and simply LOVING my beautiful daughter who will be 2 this year.

EXPRESSIONS OF CREATIVITY: This could be titled “Work” but I want my work to be expressions of who I am, of my creativity.

  • become and grow into a better writer. This also means becoming disciplined and consistent with a writing schedule.
  • finish 1st novel, edits, revisions, and finally query!
  • become more active in my other expressions: I want to be more free and learn to be more expressive and versatile with “journaling”.  I also want to get back to “scrapping”.

This is just what I’ve been thinking about so far and I retain the right to alter and/or add to these at anytime throughout this year.  It’s ok for us me to fail, as long as we I keep trying! (see there I am making this personal to me 😉 I want to remember that life is made up of “the messy bits” and to not try to keep it so “clean”.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Paranoia

AGGHHHH! At this very moment my husband is reading my VERY VERY rough draft of my novel thus far. Only 1 person has read it and even then it was only the first couple chapters. Oh my mind is reeling with how disjointed and unfocused it is. I haven’t even gone back and read it from the beginning in awhile and for some reason think that I have a couple chapters out of order. Oh the insanity! That’s what he is going to say when he’s done, I’m sure of it. I altered my characters a bit as I went and need to go back and make them cohesive. What if he hates it? What if it’s not interesting or any good? I wish I didn’t know that he was reading it RIGHT NOW because I can’t think of anything else.

People may not realize how personal writing is, especially fiction. It is telling of my imagination and my ability (or inability) for descriptions that will invite and include others into my world and to let anyone in, even he that is closest to my heart and my biggest supporter, is a very BIG stretch for me.  I’m scared.  At least I am not home and can’t see his initial reactions, because like I said, it’s ROUGH.  Of course, I will want people to read it and re-read it and give me critiques, but when it is MUCH further along.  This will be hard to get used to.  Is it just me or do others feel this way with their first WIP?  Ok, I must keep writing so my time is not wasted.  Stay tuned…

Am I Lost? Or Are They?

I should be writing, but it’s not really happening.  I’m even out, away from my distractions at home; unfortunately, I came to Starbucks today which was a mistake because there are more distractions here and it is so LOUD!  I usually like to write at Borders or another local cafe when I write, but today a Cranberry Bliss bar won me over.  They are my FAVORITE and they are only around during this holiday season.  Borders usually works for me FYI – I find it inspiring to be around all those books and all that creativity and imagination and it is one of my “happy” places (that and Target… just sayin’).  And I digress.

So I should be writing.  I have even made several different attempts and read and re-read what I had previously written trying to inspire this next scene but for some reason, it just isn’t flowing.  So FRUSTRATING! (in an expressive mood apparently with all the caps;)  I know where I am trying to get, but I am having a hard time finding the path to getting there from where I am now.  In other words… I’m LOST!

What do we do when we lose something? Retrace our steps.  So I did and I am, but I’m still not finding it.  What do we do when we get lost? People always say, especially to kids, “If you get lost, STAY PUT, and someone looking for you will come and find you”.  And they can’t very well find you if you are continually moving from one place to the next, now can they?  So in my mixed up metaphor, does that mean I need to just stay where I am and keep reflecting and the characters will come and find me?  Or are they (my MCs) lost and I need to find them?  Obviously, I am still trying to figure this out, but I thought perhaps if I wrote it out I would get more clarity.  Unfortunately, I think I may be even more confused, LOL.

*A few minutes later and after more schizophrenic deliberation*… LIGHTNING STRIKE! (ok a bit overkill but sounded awesome in my head)  I think I have come to a point where I do not know my characters deep enough to know their responses/actions in their present situation to get them from point A to point C.

Hmmm…

Well, I got nothing else.  So that’s where I am going to start.  Even if it’s not the key to get me out of my funk, it can’t hurt to keep exploring one’s characters.  Right?

Here’s to the journey… CHEERS!

Mmm... Peppermint White Mocha

Cheers!

NaNo Fail

November has come and gone like a blur of motion.  November 1st went off like a shot fired at the commencement for the NaNoWriMo challenge to write 50K words in 30 days.  I was excited and even a bit prepared having spent some time pre-NaNo developing my main characters and plotting my… well, my plot (pun not intended ;).  I jumped in with both feet and starting accruing word count totals that gave us all tingly little feelings to go log in on the NaNo website to post our new totals for each day.  For me, life crept in and subtly started stealing my time more and more like having some jobs that make money come up (which um kind of a necessity), then the baby got sick (and clingy), then mom (me) and dad were fighting the dreaded soar throat and runny nose that so many seemed to be contending, then my sister and fam from out of town came in for the week of Thanksgiving…. Yes, yes I know these are all excuses, valid or not.  Could I have made more time for writing?  Sure if I wanted to stay up most nights and then get up at 530 with the toddler (bc that’s when she was getting up while sick), but to be honest I was just wiped out by the end of the day and I just didn’t want to.  There it is, honesty… After all is said and done, I just wasn’t feeling it.  Oh, I felt guilty about it alright, even frustrated and then disappointed, but once I was honest with myself and decided that it was ok for me to focus on my family and the things that we were going through, I felt (dare I say it…) relieved.

So did I finish NaNoWriMo?  Do I really need to answer that?  NO, I didn’t finish and I am disappointed, but I did learn some positive things about myself and I got a good start on a new novel that I actually like and will continue to work on.

What did I learn, you ask?

1. Some good character development techniques as I prepared

2. If I actually sit down to write somewhat consistently, even if I didn’t begin with ideas, words eventually begin to flow hopefully into something cohesive and interesting.

3. Some techniques about how to write fight scenes with swords, knives, etc. from a class I took via other NaNo’s in my area.

4. I became a part of a large community of like-minded or at least like-goaled people.

5. If I can set aside time to write at least 2k words a day I really could finish my novel in a timely manner, and I actually think I could given the time.

6. I got to give back to help literacy and writing programs through the book drive that NaNoWriMo supported.

That’s all I got for now.  Will I attempt to do it again next year? I’m not sure but I think so.

DAY 1!!

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo has now come and gone, well for me it has.  I am done for the day.  My day did not go how I thought it would but surprisingly when I had the chance to write, the words were flowing.  I met my goal and exceeded it!  I know there will possibly be days when I am not able to, for whatever reason, meet my goal so I am trying to build a bit of a word buffer when I can.  I am exhausted and headed to bed.  I will not bore you with updates from every day, but will pop in sporadically with a few tidbits from the story and word counts.

DAY 1 WORD COUNT:  2518

1 Day to NaNo

1 DAY LEFT?!  When did this happen? Time went by so fast and I’m SO not ready to start NaNoWriMo.  I’m still not sure why I thought I could complete 50,000 words in 30 days.  I must have been feeling impulsive.  Oh well, I’m IN and I’m doing it.  To be honest, I’m actually excited about it.  Yes, feeling nervous, scattered, and wondering where in the hell I’m going to find the time to write all this and if the story is going to come together.  I’m a little more prepared than I thought I would be.  I fully planned on winging it when I first signed up, but I actually have a rough plot and my main characters profiled out.  My new notebook is ready (as I like to have a paper notebook/binder to keep track of my ideas, characters, etc.,) and I recently loaded the NaNo trial version of Scrivener – a writing software- and did the tutorial to get the most out of it.  I thought it would be a perfect time to test it out and see how I like it because if I complete my 50,000 words I can get the full Scrivener at half price (not a bad deal).  What else?  Oh, I have some candy and caffeine, my new fingerless gloves for when it’s chilly, my favorite Disneyland mug that makes me think happy thoughts, some new music, and an awesome new haircut/style that brings me new perspective as we head deeper into the Fall/Winter seasons.

So the countdown is on.  Already in some of the eastern countries they have reached their “midnight” into Nov 1st and have begun.  I will attempt to keep posts as to my progress and word counts (as long as I’m making good progress- I really don’t want to embarrass myself- lol).  Next for me is to relax, rest my brain and my fingers so they are fresh for tomorrow and enjoy the rest of my Halloween before the crazy begins 🙂  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!